"Once Upon a Deadpool" poster (Fox)

“Once Upon a Deadpool” poster (Fox)

“Thou shalt not steal” is one of the Ten Commandments.

But the latest incarnation of the “Deadpool” film franchise has sparked a holy war of sorts, as the movie poster for the Ryan Reynolds action flick appears to have at least borrowed heavily from a famous depiction of Jesus.

The poster for “Once Upon a Deadpool,” which opened Wednesday, appears similar to a painting titled “The Second Coming” by Seventh-day Adventist artist Harry Anderson.

The original work features Jesus returning to Earth, surrounded by angels blowing trumpets.

"The Second Coming" painting by Harry Anderson (image courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

“The Second Coming” painting by Harry Anderson (image courtesy The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

The movie poster has the masked Deadpool, portrayed by Reynolds, accompanied by characters from the film, some playing musical instruments, along with a small dog. The tagline reads: “Yule Believe in Miracles.”

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which commissioned Anderson’s work in the 1960s, are now calling for the removal of the poster in a petition on Change.org.

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The petition explains: “In the original painting Jesus Christ is at the center surrounded by angels. In the poster Deadpool replaces Jesus Christ. Deadpool is positioned exactly as Jesus Christ was and is wearing a white robe. It is unknown if the picture was used to intentionally mock the Church of Jesus Christ, but it is clear it was copied from the original picture. This is a form a religious discrimination. We ask that the picture be not used or posted in any manner. That they find another poster to represent their movie.”

"Once Upon a Deadpool" movie poster (Fox)

“Once Upon a Deadpool” movie poster (Fox)

More than 31,000 people have signed the petition as of this report.

The vast majority of comments under the petition did not like the “Deadpool” version, with some stating:

  • “This is a mockery to our Savior. I think Deadpool is cool and all but don’t use a religious image especially this one!”
  • “This is unnecessary. There are other ways to be funny.”
  • “This is sick.”
  • “It’s blasphemy.”
  • “I love my Savior Jesus Christ and this picture is saying to me that you think Deadpool is like him? I think you need to think about what you are trying to say here. I feel like it’s not just about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but the overarching issue that you have mocked Jesus Christ and that many Christians and even non-Christians would take umbrage with this.”

Not all comments were negative, however.

One quoted Latter-day Saint apostle David A. Bedner: “To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.”

Another wrote, “This poster is not religious discrimination, as the author of this petition claims. The poster is satirical, not discriminatory. Anyone who knows the Deadpool character, knows that he’s completely non-discriminatory, as he ridicules, mocks, satirizes just about everyone and everything (including himself). Go see the movie. Though not quite as good as the first, it’s very funny. Laugh, loudly, get over it.”

Follow Joe Kovacs on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews

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